Diabetes self-management: A post-intervention evaluation of challenges experienced in a low socio-economic community
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The global diabetes epidemic continues to grow and countries are struggling to keep pace with the health care demands that the disease creates. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in South Africa has increased drastically over the last two decades and ranks third in terms of mortality and morbidity for the general population; with an estimated 2.28 million people in South Africa living with diabetes in 2014. The effectiveness of diabetes management ultimately depends on people’s compliance with recommendations and treatment. Clients with diabetes may experience several challenges in their daily self-management practices. This study explored the challenges individuals with diabetes mellitus from a low socio-economic community experienced with selfmanagement after they participated in an intervention. Focus group discussions were conducted with 15 individuals with diabetes mellitus from one randomly selected community health care centre in the Cape Metropolitan Region, Western Cape. The discussions yielded six main themes: challenges with a healthy eating plan; challenges with physical activity; financial constraints; other people’s understanding of the disease; service received at the Community Health Centre and lack of appropriate expertise/information. Diabetics in a low socio-economic urban community experience several personal and health care system-related challenges that could negatively impact on the self-management practices of the disease. Therefore, a multidisciplinary team should provide person-centred care and implement community-based health promotion programmes to enhance self-management skills of diabetic patients.